Department of Art and Art History Design

Type Hike launches new series SHORES

Tue. April 25, 2017

image of the united states with textured red background and blue triangles
 

Type Hike, a collaborative design project organized by David Rygiol and Design lecturer James Louis Walker, launched its first series to commemorate the National Parks centennial. The series was exhibited across the U.S. and met with wide acclaim from Co.Design, Communications Art Magazine and more. 

On May 1, Type Hike will launch its second series, SHORES, featuring Aaron Draplin and Gail Anderson. SHORES will begin its exhibition tour in L.A. (at Poler Stuff Laguna Beach) and NYC (at the Brooklyn Art Library). 

James Walker contributes to new publication Lettermaker

Tue. April 18, 2017

image of a cover spelling out letterpress in pink and blue letters
 

The essay "Choose Your Chaos" about the introduction of chaos into the design process from Design lecturer James Walker was recently included in the latest zine from Kelcey Towell. Lettermaker is a zine the celebrates the making of letterforms. To learn more about Towell's zine and Walker's essay, please visit Drawn Down Books' website.

New book from Monica Penick featured in Metropolis magazine

Fri. April 14, 2017

image of a book cover of back porch with patio furniture and the word Tastemak
Image: Yale University Press

Tastemaker, a new book by Design lecturer Monica Penick, examines House Beautiful Editor Elizabeth Gordon's profound influence on mid-century American taste. 

Tastemaker was featured in a Metropolis magazine guide to "25 Architecture and Design Books to Read This Spring" from contributors Merilyn Chang and Hinali Shah. Chang and Shah write, "The late Elizabeth Gordon, House Beautiful’s one time editor in chief, wrote extensively on the subject of design, its slow deterioration, and its revitalization. Tastemaker is an important look into the shaping of mid century design, and Gordon’s profound influence on modern American architecture. This profusely illustrated portrait features nearly 200 photos of projects shot by, among others, Ezra Stoller and Julius Shulman."

UT Austin professors speak out against proposed elimination of NEA and NEH

Thu. March 16, 2017

In a bid to reduce domestic spending, the White House has proposed the elimination of multiple federal programs including the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) in its budget priorities, according to details outlined by The Hill and The New York Times.

This is not the first time that the NEA and NEH have come under fire. In the 30-year history of the NEA, the agency has continued to work to support excellence in the arts and humanities despite continuous political opposition. In response to the recent threat to both agencies, a host of arts leaders at UT Austin have spoken out against the latest budget proposal, including Art History Professor Eddie Chambers, Art History Professor John Clarke, and Stephen Enniss, director of the Harry Ransom Center.

UT Austin professors have argued against the notion that the combined budgets of the NEA and NEH—totaling some $148 million each (about .5% of the requested $54 billion increase in defense spending)—will move the needle on reducing deficit spending. “Given that cutting the NEH/NEA will do virtually nothing to positively impact the nation's deficit, this planned axing represents a serious diminishment in the cultural and educational life and health of the nation,” writes Chambers in The Dallas Morning News. “Doubtless we would all agree that the nation continues to grapple with monumental problems on a great many fronts, but the continued operating of these agencies is most assuredly not among these problems. Quite the reverse.”

Since 1984, the NEA and NEH have contributed an estimated $14,942,822 to the success of multiple projects across the university as well as faculty publications and research benefiting the UT student body, the city of Austin and the wider scholarship of arts and culture. Among them, Art History Professor Jeffrey Smith has seen his research sustained over 25 years by NEH support, beginning with a subvention grant from the NEH in 1984 for New Perspectives on the Art of Renaissance Nuremberg: Five Essays, a book he edited to a six-month research fellowship from the NEH in 2008, which ultimately grounded the research presented in his book, Dürer (London: Phaidon Press, 2012).

As Chambers made clear, the NEA and the NEH are vital to the cultural and educational health of the nation, including those that affect the academic and professional lives of those on the UT Austin campus. Speaking on behalf of the Oplontis Project, an archaeological study devoted to the excavation, study, and publication of the site of Oplontis in Italy, professor John Clarke spoke to The Daily Texan, “It’s impossible to think about continuing research without the NEH, particularly since the humanities are so terribly underfunded in general. The important part of the NEH is to remember that the humanities feed into and overlap with both the hard and soft sciences, so it’s literally a way of bridging disciplines.”

It remains to be seen how the Budget and Appropriations committees will handle the White House budget, but as professors from the Department of Art and Art History know and will attest, the NEH and NEA are critical to America’s legacy of artistic excellence and cultural investment.
 

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